The government has announced details of a £588m fund to cover adult social care or the immediate costs of care for people in their own home.
From 1 September, the NHS will be able to access the funding in order to provide up to six weeks of additional support so people can receive ongoing help with their recovery and rehabilitation after they leave hospital.
According to the Department of Health and Social Care, this could include support in their home or access to services such as physiotherapy.
NHS Continuing Healthcare (NHS CHC) assessments will also restart from September ensuring those with complex health needs can continue to access the care they need for free.
New guidance has been published to help hospitals safely discharge patients into the appropriate setting to maximise their independence and ensure they can remain in their own homes as much as possible.
A comprehensive care and health assessment for any ongoing care needs, including determining funding eligibility, will take place within the first 6 weeks following discharge to make sure individuals have the support they need.
The funding can also be used for urgent community response support to prevent someone being admitted to hospital. This can include providing urgent domiciliary care or nursing support, like basic wound care, in someone’s own home, rather than in hospital.
‘We know for the majority of people the road to recovery can be quicker when they receive care and support in the comfort of their own home,’ said health secretary, Matt Hancock.
‘This funding will help ensure people can be safely discharged from hospital knowing they will get the vital follow-on care they need to recover fully from treatment.
‘We’re also making sure those with complex health needs continue to receive the best support possible in the community,’ he added.
The vice chair of the Local Government Association’s community wellbeing board, Cllr Paulette Hamilton, added: ‘We are pleased to see this further injection of funding to ensure that people can leave hospital as soon as is safe and return home wherever possible.
‘We are also reassured by the commitment that no one will go into a care home without having been tested for the virus. Local government has asked for these commitments and will continue to play a key role in making them happen.’
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